CFOs Need Analytics Now

Blog /CFOs-Need-Analytics-Now

According to a recent survey conducted by EY, The DNA of the CFO, CFOs are feeling the tremendous pressure that arises when the transformation imperative collides with the daily grind.

More specifically, according to the EY survey:

CFOs know they need digital transformation

  • 57% say that building skills in predictive and descriptive analytics is critical to for the future.
  • 65% say that standardizing and automating processes will be a significant priority for tomorrow’s finance function.
  • 67% of CFOs believe that improving business partnering between finance and the business is a major priority.

CFOs need help in achieving digital transformation:

  • 51% of CFOs cannot focus on strategic priorities because of increasing operational responsibilities.
  • 52% of CFOs cannot focus on strategic priorities by delegating responsibilities because of lack of necessary skills in the finance team.
  • 56% of CFOs cannot focus on strategic priorities because of time spent on compliance, controls and costs.

CFOs need analytics now, but how?

Above all, digital success on the finance front requires a single version of the truth and a single, real-time system for transactions and analytics. The primary barriers finance organizations must overcome to achieve digital excellence are legacy and disconnected finance systems.

As reported in Analytics Magazine, according to a new IBM study, the vast majority of CFOs (82%) see the value of integrating enterprise-wide data, but only 24% think their team is up to the task.

The natural fit between analytics and planning, budgeting, forecasting and consolidating processes is driving a growing number of organizations to select finance operations as ground zero for digital transformation and implementing analytics.

Announced in June 2014 to lead off its S/4HANA roadmap, S/4HANA Finance provides a central finance foundation based on a single source of the truth that drives a full range of finance functions — planning, analysis, accounting, financial operations and consolidation — to meet the evolving business needs of finance departments.

Equally vital, adoption of S/4HANA Finance is non-disruptive and allows for iterative migration and transformation, yielding high value in a much shorter time and much lower cost than a traditional ERP consolidation program.

A selection of S/4HANA Finance’s analytic capabilities include:

  • Providing a single source of truth between transactions and analytics to streamline and eliminate cycle times and reconciliations of the data
  • New on-the-fly capabilities for moving finance processing, such as month-end activities, from batch to real time
  • Innovative rapid planning and forecasting combined with predictive analysis to explore new business models and immediately assess potential effects on the bottom line
  • New reporting and analytics capabilities for finance users with self-service access to all information, allowing instant insight-to-action
  • Connections to business networks in real time to establish an integrated business ecosystem and help drive optimal collaboration with customers, suppliers, banks and government authorities
  • Global regulatory compliance capabilities across currencies, languages and industries with built-in legal compliance capabilities and continuous risk assessment along all enterprise processes

CFOs want (to keep) their BPC

With more than 6,500 customers, SAP Business, Planning and Consolidation (SAP BPC) has been a cornerstone FP&A option for SAP customers for nearly a decade and is rapidly emerging as a financial performance management solution favored by CFOs.

SAP BPC on HANA (version for SAP NetWeaver), announced in 2012, turbo-charged this already proven and popular solution — delivering speed improvements on big-data reporting of up to 200x.

The solution’s latest iteration, announced this year at the SAP Financials 2016 event, SAP BPC Optimized for S/4HANA Finance assures existing BPC customers that the tool they’ve invested in for their planning and consolidations is optimized for S/4HANA Finance.

Both S/4HANA Finance and SAP BPC Optimized for S/4HANA Finance empower CFOs to discover hidden insights and relationships contained in the transactional and operational data residing in these solutions.

CFOs can make accurate predictions about future events by exploring “what if” scenarios, such as:

  • What if you could identify hidden revenue opportunities within your customer base?
  • What if you could retain your high-value customers/employees/vendors/ partners with the right retention offers?
  • What if your call center agents could delight customers with the best next-step recommendations?
  • What if you could build long-term customer/employee/vendor/partner relationships with intelligent interactions?

A sample of industry-specific use cases for finance-led analytics include:

  • Retail and Consumer Products — Predict product demand based on historical trends at a region, store and/or past product performance.
  • Financial Services — Predict deposit revenue based on demographic data, interest rate projections and historical regression trends.
  • Utilities — Predict utility consumption based on historical usage of customer cluster groups and environmental forecasts.
  • Public Sector — Predict tax revenue based on historical demographic trends and economic assumptions.

Contact NTT DATA today to learn more about our expertise in helping CFOs leverage SAP solutions to transform finance into the central hub for analytics and digital business.

Post Date: 10/12/2016

NTT DATA Services Alan Kryszewski Alan Kryszewski

About the author

Alan Kryszewski is an Information and Performance Management expert with years of experience in the areas of architecture, engagement management, business development, and delivery experience. His major areas of business process experience include budgeting and forecast, financial and operational analysis, financial consolidation, reporting, dashboards and scorecards. Alan’s technology background includes data extraction, data integration, and full life cycle implementations of SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC) for Microsoft and SAP NetWeaver (Standard, Embedded and Optimized for S4).

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